MBAs meet with the President of Iceland on their international consulting week.
Reykjavik (Iceland) is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of an international study tour. Although Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, with two-thirds of the population concentrated in its capital Reykjavík and its surrounding areas, the island is a stoic example of resilience. In 2008, Iceland experienced one of the most dramatic financial crashes any country had ever seen. Since then, its recovery has been just as impressive. There are many lessons to be learned for MBAs in Iceland.
In April this year Legacy Ventures arranged consultancy projects with local companies for 100 MBAs students who visited the country for a week. The projects provided them with an opportunity to immerse into the local economy and its challenges and apply their MBA skills in real life case studies.
Legacy Ventures arranged projects with many leading Icelandic firms including Iceland’s largest bank, Lansbankinn, pharmaceutical giant, Alvogen, outdoor clothing brand, 66 Degrees North and biotechnology firm, Orf Genetics. Other companies included start-up whiskey distillery, Thoran, international law firm, Logos, global food company, Icelandic, and energy firm, Landsvirkjun.
It wasn’t all work, mid-week, the students had an opportunity to explore the volcanic landscape of the island and enjoy hot relaxing baths in the Blue Lagoon. At night they have sampled some of the local culinary delights such as rotten shark and puffin. The week culminated with an interaction with the President of Iceland, Olafur Grimsson, who joined the students for a final group dinner at the iconic Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik. Giving a speech on the country’s future, the President stated that Iceland’s economy would be shaped by the Arctic Circle. He also talked about the island’s natural resources and the importance of a clean energy economy and the Arctic’s untapped resources. The President referred to the Arctic as the “new global Suez Canal” which could fuel the future growth for the country.